Rainbow Award Banners

Rainbow Award Banners
Awarded December 2013 for MAKE DO AND MEND by Adam Fitzroy

Thursday, 8 December 2011

STAGE WHISPERS gets an 'Honourable Mention'

To my astonishment STAGE WHISPERS has been awarded an Honourable Mention in the 'One Perfect Rate' category of the Rainbow Awards, which as far as I can see means that one person thought it was pretty darned special! I kind of thought it had dropped off the world's radar a bit, although apparently it's still selling steadily enough. Since the next book, MAKE DO AND MEND, will have a lot of similarities to STAGE WHISPERS, it's really encouraging to think that there is someone out there who is prepared to invest a bit of time into reading something with a slow and leisurely plot development - and probably not a lot of sex!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

GHOST STATION - comments at GoodReads

Not really a review as such, but a reader called Tracey has left the following comments:

This book was well written with engaging characters set in British Intelligence in the 70s. The Ghost Station refers to an abandoned underground station and the agents all have alias names taken from Jane Austen novels which amused me no end. She's not the first person I'd associate with spies! The agents in Ghost Station have to be flexible in their sexual orientation but becoming too attached to fellow agents is frowned upon. As you would expect, there's a lot of cloak and dagger stuff going on but it was all rather too mild for my taste. I really didn't form any kind of attachment to the characters, although they were pleasant enough. There are quite a few cultural references that may go over the heads of international readers depending on how familiar they are with Britain.

Not one I'm likely to read again.

I'm sorry about the last sentence, but can quite understand that it didn't exactly hit the spot where this reader was concerned. It's certainly not James Bond, it's far more about the personal cost of being an agent; in fact, 'the conflicting demands of love and duty' like it says in my bio. It all depends on what you're looking for in a book, I suppose; balancing the relationship-plot with the plot-plot is always a very tricky business!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Interviewed by Chris Quinton

This was fun, since Chris and I have been friends for a very large number of years. In fact, if it hadn't been for Chris I would never have got involved in writing for MANIFOLD PRESS in the first place. I'm not great at being interviewed - it doesn't come naturally - but mercifully Chris made the whole process completely painless. Also, any interview that features tea and shortbread biscuits is one to be enjoyed; Chris certainly worked out a long time ago that bribery and (preferably) corruption are usually successful in my case!

Monday, 31 October 2011

Another review of 'Stage Whispers'

I must confess that after a couple of lukewarm reviews I really thought this one had sunk without trace and that it would be better to just get on and concentrate on future projects, but it seems that good things, after all, come to those who wait!

Elisa Rolle has posted a delightful review in which, among other things, she picks up on 'the small town feeling of the theatre world, where everyone knows everyone else'. This comment has pleased me more than a little, since that was exactly what I was going for - the notion that British theatre is really just one great big extended family in which triumphs and disasters are shared by the entire community.

Thank you, Elisa, you have made a rather grey day very much brighter and given me back my faith in a book I was afraid had completely failed to find its market!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Taking my name in vain

Readers of this will be in for a surprise if they Google the name of the hero. It's something the author should probably have done, in my opinion, at an earlier stage - always a very necessary first step when preparing a narrative. But then I suppose Callum Henley - a junior competitive swimmer from Derbyshire - would probably agree with me!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

First review of STAGE WHISPERS

Well, I have just been told about the review of STAGE WHISPERS at Jessewave and naturally hurried over there to look - and emerged somewhat puzzled.

... them suddenly quoting famous writers and poets in the middle of conversation I did mind, and eventually I minded that a lot. While I am sure there is a reason for it — I am sure the writer wanted to add layers to their personalities by doing so and I guess to show that being actors is not just their profession — but I think it is possible to draw the characters as rich and distinct personalities without asking for help from the classics.

The phrase 'asking for help from the classics' is an odd one and I really don't quite understand the problem, but then possibly the reviewer has never encountered the kind of theatrical personality that is never without a quote. Actors live their lives wearing a series of masks; even when they are being themselves they are still always being someone else. They are very often at a loss for words themselves - but, having a rich dramatic heritage to call upon, they can usually turn to someone else to say things more appropriately for them.

However not all books suit all readers, and there's no denying that STAGE WHISPERS is a very personal story about two people I feel I know particularly well. Perhaps too personal, and perhaps too well, for readers who prefer something more obviously action-driven.

Better luck next time, I suppose.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Comments about STAGE WHISPERS

My very good friend SLASHWEAVER who, like me, publishes with MANIFOLD PRESS, was kind enough to post on her LiveJournal the following comments about STAGE WHISPERS. For obvious reasons this isn't a formal review, but I must admit that if ever I received a formal review in similar terms I would feel that the eleven months of my life I spent writing the book had not been completely wasted!

* * * * *

I have recently been reading the novel Stage Whispers, and loving it. It's a great long detailed read, considering a relationship as it evolves over the years - as the individuals in it change, and the world changes around them as well. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to read an intelligent love story set in the theatrical world.

I should add a caveat or two here, though! Stage Whispers was published by Manifold Press, who have also published two of my own titles. So it's clear I have a vested interest in their success, and in Adam's as well! However, I'm not the sort of person who says things I don't mean, and they're not the sort of people who'd expect me to, so I thought I'd offer this post anyway, and let you make of it what you will.

My other caveat is that this isn't intended as a 'proper' review, and it is completely spoilery.

Stage Whispers was absolutely great. A lovely long detailed look at a relationship that felt very real. The characters felt very genuine. In particular I loved and adored Jon (the point-of-view character), while Callum (his other half) was engaging even when he kept making the most muddle-headed 'wrong' decisions. They were so obviously right for each other, and that's not always easy to convey about a couple.

Meanwhile, their friend Izzy was absolutely marvellous - true and fierce and kind, all at once. A real force - although even she has her weakness and problems, unable to ever quite cope with an overbearing mother. I particularly enjoyed Jon's developing relationship with his young daughter Justine, as well, and the attendant detail as she grows into a person in her own right.

It's the details that are such a strength of the novel, I think - not just subtle details such as how Justine is at different ages, from one year to the next, but also all the detail of the theatrical world they inhabit. I haven't been part of that world myself, but it all felt very real, and it provided a great context for the love story.

And I was so very happy when the love story finally resolved well, though overall I admit I did feel an almost overwhelming sadness. This story could almost serve as a 'textbook case' of why our society should be at least more accepting, and preferably welcoming, of a wider range of loving relationships. No one should have to go through all this, just to be with the someone they love. No one. And yet alas, it is still so. Well, I've already seen such significant changes in my own lifetime thus far - let's hope that continues! And let's hope that a Jon and Callum born 50 years later might simply be together, as they obviously should have been from the start.

So, well done, Adam! Excellent work.

* * * * *

Thank you, dear friend, that has really cheered me up!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Escape from LiveJournal

The good people at Manifold Press having decided to pack their bags and move here from LiveJournal, it seemed like a suitable moment for me to do so too - especially as my LJ was doing a very good impression of a Monty Python parrot.

All I have to say at the moment is that to my considerable astonishment Dear Mister President is currently in second place on the Rainbow Ebooks bestseller list ... although by the time you read this it may very well not be since the list is of course dynamic.

I've never been on any kind of bestseller list before and it's rather an odd sensation; naturally I'm delighted, but also more than a little scared.  It leaves me a lot to live up to, and the pressure is now on to try to do as well with future books.  For the first time in my life, I think I know how J.K. Rowling may have felt - minus the millions, of course, and with just a little more gay romance!